The open call of the main exhibition of the 9th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial received 470 applications. The highest number of submissions came from our Nordic neighbour, Finland with 118 applications, followed by Estonia with 102, Sweden with 81, Norway with 64, Latvia with 40, Lithuania with 39, Denmark with 17 and Iceland with 5 applications. Some of the applications were presented by groups with members from different countries. We extend our sincere gratitude to all participants – we are happy to see such strong interest.

The curator of the exhibition, Maret Sarapu will finalise her selection by 12 April after which we will contact all applicants. The list of artists selected for the main exhibition will be made public within the month of May.

Commenting on the submissions, Maret Sarapu highlighted the fact that artists are actively experimenting with material. “Artists are experimenting with new symbioses or exploring new uses for a variety of materials, they seek a place for materials that have been on the margins or forgotten. I also see a lot of concern about sustainability and the life cycle of materials,” says Sarapu.

Many use slow technologies, which raises the question whether craft as a calming activity is a basic need or luxury. “Working slowly means that the artist takes time to get to know something or someone better, to grieve or to pray,” she explains. Cyanotype, jacquard weave and embroidery were among the more popular techniques. We also received a considerable number of video works.

When it comes to material, textile was among the most popular as well. However, of the 470 submitted works, the highest number of applications presented installations featuring multiple materials.

The main exhibition of the 9th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial The Fine Lines of Constructiveness is open at the Kai Art Center from 5 October 2024 until 16 February 2025.

Anu Almik



Tallinn Applied Art Triennial announces an open call for its 2024 main exhibition The Fine Lines of Constructiveness. The triennial is also seeking applications for its satellite programme.

The open call for the main exhibition of the 9th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial welcomes applications from artists from the Baltic and the Nordic countries. For the main exhibition, artists will be selected via open call as well as via invitation by the curator.

The 2024 triennial is curated by Maret Sarapu, focusing on constructiveness, rebuilding and moving towards solutions. “For me, constructiveness is above all a willingness to experiment, to look for unexpected collaborations, to innovate and make something new,” says the curator. “Constructiveness can emerge when means are scarce, energy low or when it is understood that we need to be gentle with one another.” It can also appear in natural clear-mindedness. Constructiveness does not mean merely “pointing to the sore points in society” and then stopping there. Thus, we are seeking works that showcase individual or collective methods to move towards solutions.”

The call is open to both individuals and groups from a variety of fields of applied art and contemporary craft. Tallinn Applied Art Triennial seeks works either in physical or digital form. More information about the open call and the thematic focus of the triennial is available HERE. Submissions are open until 15 March 2024 via Typeform HERE.
The main exhibition of the triennial, titled The Fine Lines of Constructiveness opens at Kai Art Center on 4 October 2024 and remains open until 16 February 2025.

As in previous years, the triennial is accompanied by a satellite programme consisting of exhibitions, performances, installations and other events that link to the theme of this year’s triennial and highlight applied art and contemporary craft in a broader sense.

Please submit information regarding potential events for the satellite programme no later than 15 May 2024 to info@trtr.ee. We kindly ask that you include the date, location and a short description of the event in the e-mail. Based on submissions, the triennial compiles the satellite programme by autumn 2024. The triennial introduces the satellite programme in its communications, however, (co)funding for projects is not available.

Tallinn Applied Art Triennial is an international applied art event, established in 1997 with the aim of supporting and empowering the development of the field of applied art and contemporary craft.

Anu Almik


The triennial invites visitors to tours of the exhibition led by participating Estonian artists.

In August, the triennial welcomes visitors to both Estonian and Russian language guided tours, which also feature artists, who introduce their creative processes and impulses. On Wednesday, 4 August at 18.00 the curator’s assistant Keiu Krikmann will introduce the exhibition together with the designer Linda Aasaru. On Saturday, 14 August at 13.00 jewellery artists Julia Maria Künnap, Eve Margus-Villems and Hanna-Maria Vanaküla will discuss their work. Russian-speaking audiences are welcome to a guided tour of the show on Saturday, 14 August at 15.00, conducted by Laura Marija Brunova and the artist and designer Sandra Kosorotova.

In addition to the main exhibition, the triennial also includes an extensive satellite programme. The Windows and the Vault of the A-gallery are currently showcasing jewellery exhibitions “From the Jauntiness of Absence” and “Edge” and at the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design Marta Boan has recently opened her jewellery exhibition “To wear or not to wear”. The installation “In-Tangible”, inspired by the theme of the triennial is currently on view at the central square of the Noblessner quarter and in August Kai Kaljo, Darja Popolitova, Triin Kukk and Merlin Meremaa will be opening their new exhibitions.

Anu Almik


Videos of the exhibition “Translucency” open at the Kai Art Center are available for viewing, featuring participating artists discussing their works.

The videos that supplement the international main exhibition of the 8th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial discuss the central concept of the show, translucency and reveal how artists have interpreted the idea.

The videos feature the curator of the exhibition, the Danish glass artists and art historian Stine Bidstrup, artists Linda Aasaru, Hanna-Maria Vanaküla, Erin Dickson, Ditte Hammerstrøm, Helen Lee, Jiyong Lee, Sissi Westerberg and Wang & Söderström. The individual short videos are available HERE, however, in the auditorium of the Kai Art Center, the clips are screened as a 21-minute film. The videos were created by Aigar Vals.

The main exhibition of the 8th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial includes 21 international artists in a variety of media, such as site specific installations, glass, porcelain, 3D printed objects, jewellery, furniture etc. The exhibition at the Kai Art Center at Noblessner is open until 15 August, from Wednesday to Sunday, 12–19.

Anu Almik


The catalogue of the 8th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial is now available HERE.

The catalogue is introduced by the curator of the exhibition Stine Bidstrup, discussing the central concept of the show, translucency, followed by an overview of all the participating artists as well as high quality photos of the artworks. Additionally, the publication features a detailed list of all the works included in the exhibition.

The catalogue concludes with two essays. In her essay “Moments of aliveness”, the architecture and art historian and curator Ingrid Ruudi contemplates the artworks presented at the exhibition and our encounters with material as possibilities to experience unique moments of aliveness.

„To encounter works, objects and materials that are ambivalent, unstable, fragile and temporary means noticing the ambivalence, multiplicity, impermanence and contingency of my own being in the world. But this is not a source of fear and insecurity but enables a heightenened awareness of being in the moment and contact with the other. Letting go of expectations of stability and permanence may lead to rediscovering enchantment and joy. Perceiving myself as flawed, partial and temporary paves way for encountering the human and non-human other from a less hierarchical, more equal basis.“ (from Ingrid Ruudi’s essay)

The essay by the architecture historian at the Royal Danish Academy, Martin Søberg titled “Saturated with light. On architecture and translucent materials“ looks at translucency in the history of architecture. The essay includes numerous photographs.

„The materials of architecture are put together, they carry and are carried, and furthermore become atmosphere-creating, enclosing membranes that allow adjustment and exchange. The phenomenon of translucency is then still about ambiguity, blurring and diffusion, but also about the potential for something new to emerge from the saturated light..“ (from Martin Søberg’s essay)

The catalogue is published both in Estonian and in English. The publication was edited by Keiu Krikmann and designed by Tuumik Stuudio.

The catalogue is sold at 25€, plus shipping costs. To place your order, please contact info@trtr.ee.


Anu Almik

Photo: Hedi Jaansoo

Tomorrow, on 29 May the international applied art exhibition “Translucency” opens at Kai Art Centre. The main exhibition of the 8th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial is open throughout the summer and is accompanied by an extensive satellite programme with many of the exhibitions opening tonight.

The main exhibition is open until 15 August and focuses on the phenomenon of translucency. Depending on the context, translucency can reveal what is hidden or conceal what is seemingly visible.

“As the theme suggests, the exhibition includes works that play with the optic phenomenon but also those that look at translucency in the context of social behaviour, politics and relationships,” says Merle Kasonen, the chairwoman of the triennial. “Applied artists often focus on specific materials but they also work conceptually. In this exhibition, the conceptual approach is perhaps even more significant than functional qualities.”

Curator Stine Bidstrup. Photo: Hedi Jaansoo

The exhibition “Translucency” is curated by the Danish glass artist and art historian Stine Bidstrup. The 21 artists selected by Bidstrup are presenting new and recent works. The selected works are characterised by playfulness, willingness to experiment and a strong conceptual approach,” says the curator Stin Bidstrup. “The works look at presence and absence, the private and the public, individuality and collectiveness, time and temporality, politics and language, material decay and structural defects.”

Alongside the main exhibition the triennial also has an extensive satellite programme that includes jewellery and glass art, site specific installations and events involving various fields of art. For example, today Tanel Veenre opens his solo exhibition “Organ” at Temnikova & Kasela gallery and Kadri Mälk, Julia Maria Künnap and Kai Koppel present their exhibition “Holy Vessel” at Laboratooriumi street 33. A-gallery invites visitors to Ilona Treiman’s solo show “Fire” in their vault space.

At Okapi gallery, Rait Prääts and Gleb Divov bring together glass art and augmented reality and at the Manufactory Quarter design and applied art students from the Estonian Academy of Arts open a group show titled “Phantasmagoria”, showcasing jewellery, metalwork, ceramics and glass.

The exhibition “Translucency” at Kai Art Center (Peetri 12, Noblessner Quarter) is open from 29 May to 15 August, Wednesday to Sunday, from 12–19.

This Saturday, on 29 May at 13.00 the curator will be giving a tour of the show (in English). Previous registration is required. Register here. An Estonian-language guided tour with the curator’s assistant Keiu Krikmann will take place next Saturday, on 5 June at 13.00.

Photo: Hedi Jaansoo

Participating artists: Linda Aasaru (Estonia), Andrew Bearnot (USA), Erin Dickson (UK), Ditte Hammerstrøm (Denmark), Heidi Bach Hentze (Denmark), Sandra Kosorotova (Estonia), Eeva Käsper (Estonia), Julia Maria Künnap (Estonia), Helen Lee (USA), Jiyong Lee (USA), Eve Margus-Villems (Estonia), Reinoud Oudshoorn (Netherlands), Julija Pociute (Lithuania), Helena Tuudelepp (Estonia), Sandra Vaka (Norway), Hanna-Maria Vanaküla (Estonia), Sissi Westerberg (Sweden), Karlyn Sutherland (UK), Grethe Sørensen (Denmark) and Wang & Söderström (Sweden/Denmark).

Tallinn Applied Art Triennial is organised by NGO Tallinn Applied Art Triennial Society.

Anu Almik


The graphic design for the 8th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial was created by Marje and Martin Eelma from the design studio Tuumik Stuudio. Their design blurs the boundaries between materials and environments and features fragments of exhibited artworks.

What were some of your first associations with the theme of the triennial, translucency?
Layers, steam, water. Diving into other materials. Or perhaps even parallel worlds that haunt you after reading a book or watching a film, worlds that are inside or layered on top of one another or as a grid. In order to evoke translucency you need more than one environment and these environments need to come into contact with one another, yet still remain separate. When they blend, translucency is lost.

What did you start the design process with?
The exhibition concept of the curator Stine Bidstrup and our initial conversations with the exhibition designer Kärt Maran led us to think about water as material and a surface of reflection. These ideas became the basis for the design. We also thought about the location of the exhibition, Kai Art Center just by the sea, and this, too, contributed to the further development of these ideas. Water is transparent matter, completely different from air. In places where water and air meet, light makes possible situations, where water is both transparent and reflects back into our world. Water can be quite dynamic, which results in dynamic images. Water or other liquids can also have a hue to them yet still be transparent to great depths.

The design also uses photos of artworks we will see at the exhibition.
We included artworks in the conversations about the design early in the process and that remained an important element, so we had to make these layers complement one another. On the one hand, a fluid and reflective surface layer that was expressed as a fluid and steamy typeface and beneath that, selected works or details of artworks. To conclude, the design was created in collaboration with the triennial’s team – we were discussing several directions that were more or less focused on the same theme but using various graphic elements. Finally, the design that expressed a common understanding of the theme the clearest was chosen. Reflections of water are not so clearly visible anymore, however, the steamy translucent typeface still evokes undulating water.

Could you talk about how you chose the four photos featured in the design?
First, we looked if the photos fit with our chosen typeface, the steamy and fluid typography had to be visible against the background. Not all photos supported that. In the end, we chose photos that worked best with the typeface.

The graphic design of the triennial features the following artworks: Wang & Söderström “Flatscreen“, Sandra Vaka “Jugs (bitter lemon)“, Eeva Käsper “Enclosed Secret” and Grethe Sørensen “Lillebælt III“.

Anu Almik


The curator Stine Bidstrup has selected artists for the main exhibition of the 8th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial. 24 artists from the Nordic countries, the USA, the UK, the Netherlands, Estonia and Lithuania will be addressing the phenomenon of translucency, the main theme of the 8th Triennial. The selection includes seven Estonian artists.

Danish glass artist, art historian and educator Stine Bidstrup says the selected artists and designers represent some of the best practitioners within their fields with work characterized by strong conceptual exploration, playfulness and willingness to experiment. “The Triennial will showcase new and recent works that are created and exist across intersections between fine art, craft and design making these distinctions less important,” added the curator Stine Bidstrup.

“The curatorial theme of translucency is exemplified in a myriad ways through the work of the artists; translucency as a phenomenon, as an intermediate space inhabiting the space between the polar opposites of transparency and opacity, translucency in the use of language, in politics, creating ambiguity and complexity,” described Bidstrup her approach.

The exhibition will feature various fields, techniques and materials: glass, ceramics, clay, textile, garments, photography, sculpture, installation, jewellery, weaving, video, furniture, 3D-printing and digital design.

The Triennial’s main exhibition features the following artists from Estonia: Linda Aasaru, Eeva Käsper, Sandra Kosorotova, Julia Maria Künnap, Eve Margus-Villems, Helena Tuudelepp and Hanna-Maria Vanaküla.

Other participating artists include (in alphabetical order): Andrew Bearnot (USA), Phoebe Cummings (UK), Erin Dickson (UK), Ditte Hammerstrøm (Denmark), Heidi Bach Hentze (Denmark), Helen Lee (USA), Jiyong Lee (USA), Shari Mendelson (USA), Reinoud Oudshoorn (Netherlands), Julija Pociute (Lithuania), Anne Vibeke Mou (Denmark/UK), Sandra Vaka (Norway), Sissi Westerberg (Sweden), Karlyn Sutherland (UK), Grethe Sørensen (Denmark) and Wang & Söderström (Sweden/Denmark).

The main exhibition of the 8th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial “Translucency” opens at Kai Art Center in Port Noblessner in Tallinn (Estonia) on 28 May 2021 and welcomes visitors until 15 August 2021.

Tallinn Applied Art Triennial is an international art event established in 1997, organised by NGO Tallinn Applied Art Triennial Society. The Triennial contributes to the development of fields of applied art and contemporary craft.

Anu Almik


The next Tallinn Applied Art Triennial will be curated by Stine Bidstrup, a Danish glass artist and art historian, whose curatorial concept focuses on the phenomenon of translucency both in contemporary craft and in a broader social context. The 8th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial opens at Kai Art Center on 28 May 2021.

The main exhibition of the triennial titled “Translucency” is built around Stine Bidstrup’s curatorial concept and features around twenty artists. A quarter of the participating artists will be selected among Estonian artists during curatorial visits to Estonia in summer 2020.

Merle Kasonen, the chairwoman of the triennial, highlighted the curatorial concept’s resonance in various fields of applied art as well as its broader implications in the contemporary world. “As Stine pointed out, depending on the context, translucency can reveal what is hidden or conceal what is seemingly visible,” added Merle Kasonen.

For example, the curator expanded on how wide use and promotion of glass (and transparency) indicates power and economic surplus, but when transparency is proclaimed as a sign of openness in architecture or politics or elsewhere, it is more often than not a sign of opacity, of not being able to see what is really going on. Looking in and looking out do not take place on equal grounds – transparency on the surface can, in fact, hide hermetic power structures and hierarchies. However, opacity, too, can be of value and at times, truly necessary,” explains Stine Bidstrup, whose curatorial concept centres what is in-between the two extremities – translucency.

Stine Bidstrup is a Danish glass artist, educator and art historian whose work and research explores optical phenomena, and interprets and brings ideas about utopian, architectural visions to life through glass sculptures, installation and video. Her curiosity revolves around the power of perception and power of context and point of view in constructing our understanding through vision and how the human eye and mind are always engaged in myriad determinations and negotiations.

Bidstrup holds art degrees from The Rhode Island School of Design and The Royal Danish Academy of Art School of Design and a degree in art history from The University of Copenhagen. She has taught in Denmark and internationally. She maintains a studio in Copenhagen, goes to Småland Sweden to blow glass, and is represented by Heller Gallery in New York and FUMI Gallery in London.

The 8th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial opens at Kai Art Center in Port Noblessner on 28 May 2021 and will remain open to visitors until 15 August 2021.

Tallinn Applied Art Triennial is an international art event established in 1997, organised by NGO Tallinn Applied Art Triennial Society. The triennial contributes to the development of fields of applied art and contemporary craft.

Anu Almik